Are My Prescription Medications Safe to Take?

Are My Prescription Medications Safe to Take?The Chicago Tribune reports that most older Americans take 5 or more prescription drugs each day. These drugs are meant to treat current health conditions and prevent health emergencies. Most people take prescription medications without first asking their doctor about how these drugs interact with each other. Taking certain medications can be risky and downright dangerous. Knowing what you take on a daily basis and how these medicines interact with each other is the best way to stay safe and prevent medication interactions.

Know before You Go

Something as simple as taking vitamin E can be a health risk when combined with other drugs. Knowing exactly what medications and supplements you take on a daily basis and their dosages can help your doctor protect you from dangerous drug interactions. Keep an updated list of medications in your wallet near your driver’s license in case of an accident or emergency and for filling out paperwork at the doctor’s office. If your doctor does not ask you about your current medications, make sure to tell him or her anyway. Most medical assistants and nurses will collect this information before you see the doctor, but if they do not, be sure and bring it to their attention.

Ask Your Doctor

When your doctor gives you a new prescription, it is important to ask about any potential side effects it may cause. That includes interactions with the other medications you are taking. Ask how this drug might interact with all of your medicines, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, as well as food. Do not take any medication you are not sure of. If you have more questions, talk to your pharmacist. It is often easier to get in touch with your pharmacist, and he or she can call the doctor on your behalf to get clarification if necessary.

Write It Down

Even if you do not have trouble remembering, have your doctor write down any instructions for taking new medicines. Keep your medications organized in a pillbox, and make sure you know which medications to take at night or in the morning and which should be taken with food. Keep your written instructions at home and near your medications for easy reference. Ask your doctor to start you on the lowest possible effective dose of any new medications to lower the risk of side effects. If the medication does not work at the lowest possible dose, your doctor can always adjust it. Understanding what you are taking, when and how to take it, and any possible drug interactions or side effects will keep you safe while using prescription drugs.

Finding Help for Drug Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with prescription drug abuse, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour number to speak to an admissions coordinator. We are ready to answer your questions about addiction and help you find appropriate treatment.